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Excited to call Wairoa home

Chris Hankey sees the opportunities and challenges in the Finance Planning Manager’s role as the next logical step in his career as he begins his role at the Wairoa District Council.

The 41 year old Gisborne native, started work at council last week and is excited about moving to Wairoa after a varied career in accountancy and finance with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as a civilian staff member, the NZ Retail Property Group, and other small to medium accounting firms around New Zealand, supporting a wide range of businesses and the farming industry.

Mr Hankey has worked throughout the country and has enjoyed telling his friends about the cost of living in Wairoa after buying property here.

“I’ve enjoyed hassling my friends and colleagues in Auckland about the cost of property here in Wairoa. I just thought this was perfect timing for me and my family. This is a great step in my career; my family won’t be burdened with the crushing debt that comes with living in Auckland.”

“I’m certainly not going to miss the traffic or the rat race that comes with big city living. I’ll get to have a real life with my family. I’m just looking forward to settling into my role at council and also getting involved in the community.”

“I grew up in Gisborne, so am pretty familiar with Wairoa. It’s a great town actually. I’ve been asked about the move from the big city, but I prefer small communities. The big city life is just not for me and Wairoa is a place that I can certainly call home.”

“I have a Bachelor of Business Studies degree majoring in accountancy from Massey University and I am an Associate Chartered Accountant with CAANZ. My wife is currently completing a Chaplaincy Diploma in Auckland and will be moving down permanently later this year.”

“I was really impressed with Fergus’ vision for the future of Wairoa and this was one of the many drawcards for me when I accepted this role. I’m really excited about contributing to that vision.”

Music is a big part of Mr Hankey’s life and he hopes to bring this passion with him to Wairoa as well. He has been a musician for over 30 years and a youth brass music teacher for the last four years.

“I come from a long line Brass Bandsmen. My grandfather played the cornet during WW2 and for Queen Elizabeth on her first royal tour. I and my brothers have all been involved with brass bands and I have been a member of the RNZAF Territorial Bands for over 17 years. Before my move here I was the section leader in the RNZAF Auckland Band.”

“My involvement with the RNZAF Territorial Forces has seen me awarded the NZ Defence Medal (Territorial) and in 2008 I was awarded the Air Efficiency Award Medal, which is awarded to Officers, Airmen and Airwomen of the RNZAF Territorial Forces for 10 years of continuous, efficient Service to the RNZAF,” Mr Hankey says.

Wairoa District Council Chief Executive, Fergus Power says it’s great that the Finance team will now have a full complement of staff.

“Chris will be an excellent addition to the Finance team, his experience, knowledge and skills will be a great asset at Council, but alongside this, Chris has other interests outside the professional arena and I’m sure that these will serve him well in our community too.”

“I want to commend the Finance team, they have worked extraordinarily hard over the last year under an immense amount of pressure. Recruiting to backfill this position was put on hold while we went through the regrettable disruption of amalgamation, but now that that is all behind us, it’s good that we have been able to finally fill this position.”

“The role that Chris moves into was made vacant last year when Andrew Morton was promoted to CFO and it’s great that we are now able to fill this vacancy and bring the Finance team back to a full complement of staff.”

“2016 is going to be a great year for us at Council and that we are able to attract staff like Chris, with his experience, skill-set and knowledge says a lot about the Wairoa District Council as an organisation that attracts high calibre and high quality staff,” Mr Power says.

23 February 2016

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